PointCard is Killing Off its “Neon” Debit Card Ahead of “Titan” Launch
Boy, I sure can pick ’em. At the beginning of the year, I named my top five FinTechs to watch in 2022. While one of those five seems headed toward big things after being acquired by Walmart, two of my selections are now dead. Well, technically, PointCard the company is seemingly sticking around although they announced this week that they’re officially “sunsetting” their Neon debit card. D’oh!
According to the email sent to customers, the PointCard Neon will be completely eliminated by September 23rd. As of August 9th, cardholders like myself will no longer be able to add funds to their card, with purchasing abilities then disabled on August 24th. Then, accounts will be inaccessible on September 8th and any remaining funds will be returned via ACH on that September 23rd date. And that’s curtains.
Honestly, while I was still a bit taken aback by this email, I had seen this coming for a few weeks now. While it didn’t feel like it had been that long since I had seen an update or offer from PointCard, I opened the app to check something last month and noticed some missing features. In particular, I realized that the debit card funding feature (which allowed you to add funds to your card instantly using a different debit card) had been removed. Additionally, looking at the Access offers, the list of available deals had been pretty much decimated — a far cry from the days when 5x on Amazon and other top retailer purchases were common. Most damning, however, was when I then went to PointCard’s site to discover that the Neon card had all but been erased, with the homepage only making mention of the upcoming Titan card.
So why did the Neon debit card fail? If I had to guess, I’d suspect that there was a heavy concentration of “gamers” in Neon’s ranks. This is to say that, like me, many of the people who signed up for it were only really interested in taking advantage of offers, such as Streaks or the 5x deals to maximize their return. Normally, these types of offers act as “loss leaders,” but the hope is that keeping users engaged will get them to use the card more overall. Perhaps that didn’t come true, meaning that PointCard was then missing out on those sweet interchange fees they were surely hoping to get. And while you’d assume the annual fee — which was $49 when I joined but rose to $99 — would offset their losses, presumably that didn’t end up being the case either.
Regardless of why Neon didn’t work out, it does seem as though PointCard is now focused on its Titan charge card. I’ve written about Titan a bit before and, while I think it’s interesting, I mentioned that it hadn’t won me over. Needless to say, given my experience now, I’m even less likely to want to try Titan — but never say never.
To their credit, PointCard has been proactive in making things right as they sunset Neon. For one, I received a prorated refund on my annual fee without asking (it was about $5). Additionally, the company has made deals with both Oxygen and Revolut, with current Neon cardholders receiving offers to sign up for either platform. Personally, I already have a Revolut account, but I suppose this could be a good excuse to try Oxygen.
In the end, I will miss the PointCard Neon — or at least the version of it from a few months ago. I loved the ATM fee reimbursement (which I even utilized overseas), the fun Streak challenges, and some of the other clever offers they came up with, such as allowing customers to earn a percentage of their direct deposits as a bonus. Hopefully PointCard can incorporate some of these ideas and many others into Titan… although I’m not sure if I trust them to last if they do.